Putin extends Russia's reach over Crimea with £2.7bn bridge

Russian

EU sanctions five people for organising Russian elections in Crimea

Known as the Crimean Bridge, it will be the longest not only in the country but also in Europe, overtaking the Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon.

Ukraine has also previously complained that the construction has damaged the environment and that larger ships will be unable to get through to its ports on the Azov Sea.

Putin saw a surge in popularity following the action on Crimea and commissioned his judo sparring partner, construction mogul Arkady Rotenberg, to build the bridge.

As we reported Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered to sue Russian Federation for the ecological damage brought by the construction of the bridge over Kerch strait in occupied Crimea.

The 12-mile road and rail bridge is the only land link between Russia with the Black Sea peninsula, seized by Russian forces from Ukraine in 2014.

The bridge will make the peninsula easier to reach from southern Russian Federation.

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Another unsuccessful attempt was made in the 1930s under Joseph Stalin.

The works on the construction have begun in May 2015, regardless the withdrawal.

"This is a project that they tried to achieve back under the czar".

Besides cars and pedestrians, the bridge is created to also accommodate cargo trucks and run a railway line, though both are expected to open later this year or next year. The rail section is expected to be completed at the end of 2019. A connecting highway from Kerch to the regional capital of Simferopol is set for completion in 2020. It is also created to withstand ice floes in winter.

Five people involved in organising the March 18 Russian presidential elections in the occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea were put on the European Union's sanctions list on Monday.

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